with Curried Chickpeas & Apricots
There is much debate of how Biryani came to be, but most agree that its origins probably began in Persia as a rustic rice and meat dish and then traveled to India. Biryani's many, many variations depend on where the dish is based. One thing, though, is always constant, the dish is a flavorful blend of long grain rice, aromatic spices, and a sweet and savory aspect- here we use unsulphured dried apricots.
- ¾ cup jasmine rice
- 6 oz butternut squash
- 13.4 oz package chickpeas
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 Persian cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 2 scallions
- ¼ oz fresh mint
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tbsp olive oil*
- Salt and pepper*
- *Not Incldued
- For full ingredient list, see Nutrition
- Small saucepan with lid
- Baking sheet
- Large nonstick skillet
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add the jasmine rice,1¼ cups water, and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until all water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Drain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas. Cut the butternut squash into ½ inch cubes. Transfer cubed butternut squash and chickpeas to a baking sheet. Toss with curry powder, 2 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until the squash is tender and slightly browned, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds and place in a medium bowl. Toss with juice from just half the lemon, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Let cucumbers marinate until it’s time to serve. Thinly slice the scallions. Pick the mint leaves from the stems and tear into large pieces.
Dice the dried apricots. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat with the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, add the diced apricots, golden raisins, and cashews. Cook until the fruit is puffy and the cashews are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Once the rice is finished, add it to the skillet with the dried fruit and nuts. Gently stir to combine. Add just half of the scallions and remaining lemon juice and season with salt. Gently stir in the curry roasted butternut squash and chickpeas.
Serve the jeweled biryani family-style on a platter. Top rice with remaining scallions and mint leaves. Serve with marinated cucumbers.